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Full text of "The Last Years Of Rodin"

Preface                                  9

TireL's account gives a true and striking picture of
the last years of a man of genius.

" Memories of a Watch-dog ! " There was a
time, indeed, after the outbreak of war, when the
trusty watch-dog flung out warnings and frantic
appeals. Rodin had left all his works to the French
Government, a royal gift, valued at several millions
of fsajics. But, in those tragic days, the Govern-
ment, oppressed by cares and mountainous tasks,
gave little thought to artists, however great they
might be. It had not yet had Rodin's legacy
officially registered, and this accumulation of master-
pieces, the collection of antiques lovingly gathered
together, excited the greed of gangs of adventurers
and intriguers. Only half in possession of his
faculties, without relations or powerful friends
to protect him, the illustrious veteran was wholly
unprotected.

There was danger that the criminal intrigues I
speak of might be successful and sweep away the
magnificent heritage ; but Marcelle Tirel, ever
on the watch, summoned me to her help. There was
still time, and by our combined and strenuous
efforts the Government was induced to take charge
of and protect its own property.

Has any gratitude been shown for what we did ?

Not long after the death of the Master, Marcelle
Tirel came to see me. She held in leash a big sheep-
dog, nearly as tall as herself, which followed her